Chris McClelland is famous for fine, intricate pencil drawings of African wildlife, which is quite a contrast to his previous career: he spent 30 years managing a large Australian sheep station, which ran 40,000 sheep.
His natural talent for drawing was recognized early, and he drew horses for a hobby.
But he grew up with a fascination of Africa, inherited from his parents, and on his first trip there in 1994, with wife Margie, a respected photographer, he fell in love with the place. He began writing reports and drawing wildlife and lodges for The African Safari Magazine.
Africa stimulated his sense of sight, smell and sound and he "found its heartbeat deafening."
No other place on earth has the variety and numbers of such visible wildlife, and McClelland has since made ten trips to Africa, witnessing the powerful and unstoppable force of nature. He believes he has managed to gather Africa's spirit and soul to fuel his desire to draw and paint the people, places and wildlife of the country with all of its harshness, savagery and beauty.
He has spent hours studying his subjects in their natural habitat, observing their movements, and noting the interactions between predator and prey. He uses sketches, photographs, video footage and his own well-honed powers of observation as reference to accurately portray the behaviour and anatomy of his animals. He draws them with such fine detail that each of his drawings takes up to 300 hours.
Coming from the land and pioneering stock himself, he believes that the spirit of the Australian bush and the African bushveld is a part of him, and he finds it easy to become one with it.
His living drawings are greatly sought after by discerning collectors.
Chris can be found in the Chris McClelland Gallery/Studio at 84 Lachlan Street, HAY NSW Australia. He is there drawing most days and loves people to have a chat with him and to talk about his drawings.
After numerous visits to the Painted Dog Conservation Project near Hwange National Park in Zimbabwe. Chris has been givng percentage of sales to help with this project. The web site for this is www.painteddogconservation.iinet.net.au